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Being an creative entrepreneur is hard work, and you always have so much to learn no matter what stage you’re at in your journey. The sage advice of someone who has “been there, done that” is always welcome, and what better way to get it than from the pages of a book?

The fastest way to find awesome content is through a referral from someone you know and trust. That’s why I’ve put together this list of 10 best business books for creative entrepreneurs.

Enjoy, and happy reading!

Smartcuts, best creative business books


This book does a fantastic job of analyzing the lives of incredibly successful people and companies who have done amazing things in implausibly short amounts of time. Shane Snow illustrates what a “smartcut” or smart shortcut is, using lessons from both ancient history and recent years. Find out what tricks and strategies the best of the best use to achieve lasting success—fast.

These lessons take down old myths about success and how to get there, showing how you can achieve incredible results by working smarter, not harder.

The War of Art, best creative business books


The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is a must-read manifesto for anyone with a creative job or business.

Regardless of your craft or where you aspire to go with it, the goal of this book is to help you overcome the internal resistance us creative people know all too well. This resistance gets in the way, slows us down, and prevents us from realizing our true creative potentials —like a war going on inside of our heads.

If your business or career involves innovation, ingenuity, or the creative process, you should prepare yourself for that internal war by reading The War of Art, and come out of the fray victorious.

$100 Startup, best creative business books


“Imagine that today is your final day of working for anyone other than yourself. What if—very soon, not in some distant, undefined future—you prepare for work by firing up a laptop in your home office, walking into a storefront you’ve opened, phoning a client who trusts you for helpful advice, or otherwise doing what you want instead of what someone tells you to do?”

The $100 Startup is refreshing read in a sea of tired, outdated books on how to start a business. It goes over a simple approach aimed at people who don’t know where to start and don’t have much cash to get going.

This book does not contain long winded strategies and business plans, but instead focuses on the most important thing to learn: how to start getting sh*t done. Plus, Chris Guillebeau is a super interest guy who not only knows his business but has traveled to every country in the world. What an achievement!

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4 Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss, best creative business books


While the book has since been updated and expanded, the initial release in 2007 of The 4-Hour Workweek revolutionized the world of entrepreneurship. There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there who are under the impression that the more time you put in and the harder you work, the more successful you’ll become.

Tim Ferris proves that this idea is not necessarily always true, and you can live the life of your dreams while travelling around the world. He shows how you can build a business that lets you have fun by working a few hours a week and earning a passive income.

You don’t need to sell 40 years of your life and wait for retirement to enjoy the freedom and lifestyle you long for.

Tribes, Seth Godin, best creative business books


As entrepreneurs, we need to learn how to be leaders. This is because no man is an island unto himself and no business succeeds alone. You’ll need to build a tribe of loyal supporters. You’ll need the ability to inspire others, both your clients and your employees if you want your business to make a difference.

Tribes is filled with examples that show us how leadership depends on your ability to inspire others. The first step? Shifting your mindset from being passive to proactive. You are here to make things happen, not to wait for things to happen.

Though Seth Godin doesn’t share a step-by-step guide with Tribes (since every situation is different), he does teach you how to spot opportunities to take leadership positions. It’s up to you to get out there and find them for yourself.

Jab Jab Jab Right Hook, best creative business books


If you struggle with social media and you want to learn how to use it effectively to market your business, then this is the book for you.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a rockstar on social media. His energetic writing style in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is exactly what’s needed when talking about this increasingly important subject. (Psst! You should really check out Gary’s fabulously energetic podcast as well. Highly recommend.)

“Jabs are the lightweight pieces of content that benefit your customers by making them laugh, snicker, ponder, play a game, feel appreciated, or escape; right hooks are calls to action that benefit your businesses.”

In plainer terms: “Jab, jab, jab, jab, jab . . . right hook! Or . . . Give, give, give, give, give . . . ask.”

The book goes through 80+ detailed case studies from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, with fresh strategies that work along with great tips on execution.

Follow in Gary’s footsteps and take your social media game to the next level: grow your Instagram following to 50k by learning how I did it here, or learn how to boost traffic to your blog using the power of Pinterest.

Rich Dad Poor Dad, best creative business books


This one is a classic. Robert Kiyosaki views the world of business from a different perspective than most people are used to.

He uses storytelling to compare the different approaches to life and business of his “poor Dad” (his real dad) and his “rich
Dad”, the man who helped him understand and learn to run his business. Through his parable story, Kiyosaki gets you thinking differently about your business and how you invest your hard earned money.

It’s typically stated that “owning a business is far riskier than working for someone else”. However, Kiyosaki argues that “owning a business gives you all sorts of self reliance skills you will not get when working for someone else”, and concludes that working for yourself is actually far less risky than working a regular job.

Though Rich Dad, Poor Dad is not a step-by-step guide on how to run your business, it is a great general starting point for both investing and business startups.

Virtual Freedom, best creative business books


Do you find yourself constantly stressed out, overworked, and unproductive because you’re too busy micromanaging your business?

You’re not alone!

This situation is all too familiar for many entrepreneurs, and was once a feeling author and entrepreneur Chris Ducker knew very well.

Chris refers to the tendency of micromanaging and refusing to delegate tasks to others as his “superhero syndrome” and teaches you how you can overcome this limiting mentality to help your business prosper.

This book shows you how to escape working in your business and teaches you how to work on your business instead. You will learn how to get your time and your life back by outsourcing tasks that you don’t enjoy doing or that take up too much of your time.

The key is the “virtual assistant” and you’ll learn how to hire someone great, and why it might be best decision you’ve ever made.

9. #GIRLBOSS – Sophia Amoruso

#GIRLBOSS tells the story of the wildly successful Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO of Nasty Gal clothing.

This books chronicles Sophia’s journey from the bottom, dumpster diving and hitchhiking as a young adult. You then follow Sophia during her first business pursuit selling vintage clothing on Ebay, to the heights of running a multi-million dollar retail clothing company.

The philosophy behind  the GIRLBOSS mentality is this:

“A #GIRLBOSS takes her life seriously without taking herself too seriously. She takes chances and takes responsibility on her own terms. She knows when to throw punches and when to roll with them. When to button up and when to let her freak flag fly.”

Rework, Best creative business books


This book has a very clear message: following the norm will lead you to nothing but normal results.

If you want to reach higher with your business, you have to do things differently and avoid the well-trodden pathways.

The authors of Rework reject traditional business ideas in favor of making moves that make sense according to their unique goals and desires. They base their decisions on the reality that presents itself to them, and not on a traditionally rigid business plan. As a result, their businesses have been incredibly successful.

Business is about confidence and new ideas just as much as it is following and executing processes. Rework shows you exactly why.

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